SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — License plates from around the country mix on local freeways this Independence Day weekend.
The extra traffic can be a little frustrating for locals, but a local hospitality expert said it’s a plus for the tourism industry.
“Enjoy the climate [and] enjoying people and cycling. Quite honestly, we’re getting ready to go for bike rides and rides,” said traveler Justin Jansen.
Jansen is from Arizona.
He traveled to San Diego with his family for the holiday weekend.
Leisure travelers like him are a good sign for the tourism industry, especially after the pandemic, according to Robert Rauch who has spent more than 40 years in the hospitality industry.
He said what San Diegan residents see most are recreational tourists.
Data shows that San Diego ranked third in hotel rates nationally for the week of June 25.
“We’ve kept up the pace because we’re a drive-in market. We don’t rely on air travel, even though we have a lot of it. Drive-in travel is still strong despite these crazy gas prices,” he said. explained Rauch.
While Jansen chose to stay at an Airbnb rather than a hotel, he said it was easier to drive around with his family.
“Arizona is a little over five and a half hours away. Honestly, it averages a hundred bucks here and a hundred bucks there,” he said.
Rauch said he doesn’t see gasoline prices negatively impacting the leisure travel market unless they hit $8.00 a gallon.
He also explains that not all sectors of the travel industry are rebounding so quickly.
“Business or corporate travel is around 20% from 2019 and group business, while it’s still down over 50%, the pace is really strong,” said Rauch.